T O P

Is there a distinction? If so, how big of one?

Is there a distinction? If so, how big of one?

Muninn088

Neutral sees the sides and chooses neither, unaligned does not recognize that there are sides.


pistpuncher3000

So in a nutshell, a neutral monster won't take sides, but an unaligned monster with fuck up everyone equally. Edit: monster, not mister.


jumzish94

I see it as an unaligned might be a potential ally/enemy but neutral wants nothing to do you


WDG_1_S

Not quite, unaligned means they can’t be aligned. A cow can’t be good or evil. It’s a cow. It’s unaligned.


[deleted]

[удалено]


GreenTitanium

Spain was fucked, but I see what you mean.


Hugostar33

spain was "neutral"


ReaperGhostDivision

Im confused, how come Syrian brown bears were lawful good-aligned and polar bears were unaligned? Apart from their color, they seem pretty much the same to me.


cdaly18

[....or can it?](https://www.deviantart.com/darkriku9/art/Evil-Cow-49372999)


WDG_1_S

Good point


VrellGaming

That's no way to portray your mother!


Character_Drive6141

Same with horses, but you can ally and befriend one. It can tell who is an enemy or not, but not good from evil.


Feed_me_straws

What if that’s exactly what the cows want us to think


NachoMan_HandySavage

How has nobody brought up the Diablo II cows yet? Haha I wanted to post a video but all of them are 5+ minutes long and damn commentators talking over all of the mooing


Vefantur

Some cows can be [evil](https://youtu.be/LxXjsQbCZR8)!


Randomd0g

Beware the meadow


Gabbleducky

[Yes they can](https://youtu.be/Z836cY6NnUA)


Demon_Prongles

I’d also like to think beasts and things with low-low int like 1-3 are unaligned because alignment comes from higher orders of thinking, self-awareness, maybe a little risk reward, and of course their nature (creature type). But there are a lot of weird nuances. Look at zombies (normal/beholder/ogre) that are evil with Int 3. You can say “well of course, they’re undead and the necromantic energy itself is what’s evil,” but the zombie T-Rex (int 1) is unaligned… Maybe this was a design oversight, but if not, is it because it’s even dumber than a cow so it can’t be controlled for explicitly evil intent, while normal zombies have at least the intelligence of a cat thus make better puppets?


Kuritos

*How to say you've never played Diablo, without directly wording it.* /s


WDG_1_S

You aren’t wrong


jumzish94

A animal is unaligned true but thays not to say it would never be on my side, if I was a ranger with an owl as my companion would it not be on my side, it is unaligned because it doesn't have the means to make that kind of decision on its own it must be swayed or coerced in some fashion but it can be used for or against you. A cow could be used for dairy for your party it is unaligned but benefited the party A cow could be diseased and poisoned sent to the party as a meal, it had no say but was used for evil I'm not saying animals are making the decisions but they can be used against you, enraged animals are likely to attack, just make sure its nearby whatever you want attacked before enraging it.


gormystar

Have you never heard the ballad of the cows with guns?


lonelyswarm

Cows are definitely evil and would eat human flesh if given the chance


TheSwedishPolarBear

Kind of the other way around. Animals are unaligned as they aren't good or evil, they will never be your ally or enemy. A neutral person isn't outside of good/evil but rather in between. If you won't commit evil acts but also won't risk yourself to do good you're neutral (and if you also don't mind but also don't care for law and order, you're true neutral). Also, both good and evil characters can be allies or enemies (e.g. Batman v Superman as good vs good, and Suicide Squad 2016 as evil vs evil)


SquidmanMal

Don't forget some wars where Angels and Devils fight together against Demons and others in Law vs Chaos


jumzish94

But if your neutral and switch sides you aren't neutral. Being neutral is still taking a stance of not choosing, therefore not an ally or enemy. Where as a character who is seen as neither good nor evil, and has no idea what is going on would be considered unaligned because they aren't choosing to sit it out, and can be swayed into one or another but I'm talking more about the idea of it rather than rules


Sinksyaboat

But in terms of dnd neutrality doesn’t refer to interactions with you or any specific conflict, it’s a description of morality in relation to the other moral stances an entity can have


jumzish94

Can you also explain how an animal companion is different then what I'm suggesting? It is unaligned yet a player as altered something in world to allow it to give commands, it is not the player, and would be categorized by the players alignment would it not? You dont say his eagle unaligned and therefore wont help out in a battle you say it would act on its companions behalf And neutrality is used twice in the alignment alone showing that it has multiple meanings and is left to be determined by the group and dm


Sinksyaboat

No you say it’s unaligned and merely does what it is trained to do, as it could not be classified as evil, good, chaotic, lawful, or neutral as neutral is only relevant in the context of those moral definitions


jumzish94

Idk if you realize this but you are supporting my argument, I never stated the animals change alignment, simply put the post asked what the difference was and you stated right here how because they cant use moral concepts, and neutral is taking a stance on those issues, thank you


jumzish94

Edit: not saying I disagree with you but how you say it makes it seem so black and white where I feel there are some grey areas


TheSwedishPolarBear

It's not about sides but about morality, unless there is some cosmic level good vs evil conflict going on. Uncle Iroh from Avatar is good aligned but on the evil side of the war, while Cartman from South Park is pretty evil aligned but mostly on the good sides of conflicts (on the side of his friends). If you're unaware of a conflict and haven't taken a side for that reason, I agree that you're unaligned and not neutral *in that conflict*, but your alignment/morality doesn't depend on that. When D&D calls a creature unaligned it is because it is too stupid for morality (mostly animals and constructs).


jumzish94

But the reason unaligned creatures are unaligned is because in every scenario they have no knowledge of any situation which proves my point exactly they can be swayed possibly into your side or coerced against you Edit: there are also things like animated armor which are unaligned but I'd argue that it is this way because it depends on the caster which is a similar concept with an animal companion


MagMati55

mister works too, ever seen a drunk man


TheBaneofBane

It’s like the difference between a centrist and mass murderer.


froggie_69

Nah it's like the difference between a centrist and a rock. Both don't really do anything but one makes for a cute pet.


StarSword-C

🤣🤣🤣


Draco137WasTaken

Could still be a mister.


dynawesome

Dead Centrist vs Radical Centrist


barrdboi

An unaligned monster is too stupid to understand morals


HammerGobbo

Or chooses both, depending on the circumstance.


GallorKaal

Now that's a high WIS account


Deadthrow742

I didn't see a strict definition in 5e, but back in 4e it meant that it has yet to choose an alignment, or is a non-sentient creature and is incapable of having an alignment.


Dalek-Hunter

Unaligned are too dumb to care Neutral purposely don't care


ThatgaycousinJune

Not necessarily too dumb. I have most eldritch creatures be unaligned because they’re too old or incomprehensible to care or be within our understanding of morality


KellHound270

So, in essence, Unaligned means unable to care, and neutral means intentionally not caring.


peace_off

Neutral: IDGAF Unaligned: [Blue and orange morality](https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality)


mindflayerflayer

Lizardfolk embody this perfectly. They know there's things beyond their swamp but only bother with it as much as it keeps them alive so they trade with villages to not be seen as monsters, eat people who no one will miss because protein, and grovel to black dragons because any other action would get them tortured to death.


temptatiousigni

Oh thats a good example of unaligned thats not just based on low intelligent creatures.


Chapped_Frenulum

Neutral government: Switzerland Unaligned government: Conch Shell


LazyNomad63

I don't think neutral doesn't care necessarily. Neutral recognizes the benefit in maintaining balance in all things.


DrVillainous

Neutral may see benefit in maintaining balance, but neutral also includes people who don't really care about the big picture and act according to their whims.


IMentionMyDick2Much

That's not neutral, that's evil. If you don't are about others and only do what your whims guide you to, then you are chaotic evil.


Fairsloth

Thats only chaotic evil if your whims guide you to harm others at every turn.


DrVillainous

Nope. That's only true if (a) your whims mostly involve harming others, and (b) you're actively opposed to any sort of rules. If your moral character is such that your whims are consistently benevolent, and you flip between following the law and breaking it based on your whims, you're actually neutral good. Being guided by your whims instead of any sort of structured idea of how society should be ordered can mean any non-lawful alignment.


Naf5000

A neutral creature doesn't not care about others, it just does so on a personal level. Helps friends and family out of genuine concern, but won't necessarily feel obliged to help a stranger or someone they dislike. Compassionate, but limited in perspective.


Luna_trick

Could be both. You could be true neutral in the way that you don't particularly swing towards either law or law breaking but are willing to work in ways between to benefit you as long as they don't cross certain boundaries. You could also just be sheltered and have no particularly strong feelings about the goings on in the world because you've yet to experience them and form an opinion.


ceering99

The True Neutral Druid sees a dying man and doesn't interfere so as to not disrupt the natural balance of life and death. The Unaligned Mouse sees a dying man and doesn't interfere because it's a mouse.


VolthoomisComing

The best explanation


Visteus

That's a neat, elegant answer to the question while also funny, love it


DJRWizard

Well said, sir. If I had an award, I’d give it to you.


PapaPapist

Being neutral is an alignment. Being unaligned means the creature is not on the alignment chart at all.


zvexler

But in practice, what differences are there in their actions?


OrzhovMarkhov

It's a matter of sapience. Something "unaligned" isn't intelligent enough to comprehend morality.


chain_letter

Additionally, there are creatures lacking those qualities that still have an alignment. Alignment may also be cosmically assigned. Devils and Demons, like the 1 Intelligence Lemure, a contorted blob of flesh and remnant of an evil soul banished to hell, are still Evil, because of the nature of their existence and role in the cosmic order. Zombies (and generally undead) are consistently considered Evil, as the undead existing are a breech of the natural order. The idea of cosmically defined alignment rather than individuals determining for themselves was really strong in the 80s, and has been gradually swapped over time. "Oh, but he's a good ghost who wants to help." would be met with "He's evil, because he is a ghost." We've been transitioning away from that.


TheBoundFenrir

but does explain why aberrations from the Far Realms are often Unaligned: since alignment is a cosmic force, things from beyond the cosmos don't interact with it.


chain_letter

There aren't any unaligned aberrations in 5e so far. Slaads are Chaotic Neutral but they're from Limbo, not the Far Realms. There's very few creatures that have Deep Speech, the Far Realms language, that are not explicitly evil (monster books feature A LOT of evil, so it's biased against them). Spectators (lawful neutral) and Cloakers (chaotic neutral). Frostmaiden spoiler >!Notably, gnomish Mind Flayers from Frostmaiden are any alignment and their squidlings are unaligned, leaning to the individual ideals alignment rather than top down cosmic.!<


unclecaveman1

There’s good aligned will-o-wisps in Wild Beyond the Witchlight. I mostly chock that up to Feywild being Feywild and generally breaking rules.


PariahMantra

As others have pointed out, alien intelligences may also fall into unaligned territory even if they are Sapient. Basically once the far realm becomes involved everything gets weird and morality does not hold up very well.


shabadabadabada

It isn't necessarily a question of intelligence, though. Awakened beings have an intelligence of 10 but are unaligned. Many constructs as well have high enough intelligence but remain unaligned.


mindflayerflayer

With constructs though they're locked in a programmed goal most of the time. A golem with 2 int told to guard a relic will not register a thief as a threat until they touch it then bash them. A golem with 16 int can tell a thief from a commoner and preemptively bash. Both golems only care about that one goal.


mindflayerflayer

With one exception. Dopplegangers are unaligned but very intelligent.


Con_Job_

Or are so beyond our understandings of mortality they don’t fit anywhere


Principatus

Or maybe they’re super smart but haven’t made up their mind yet


OrzhovMarkhov

I can't tell if this is a joke or serious, but if it's the latter, that's why neutral is a thing.


Principatus

Neutral, they’ve already decided they like being neutral. Unaligned is like a Hogwarts freshman who hasn’t put on the sorting hat yet. Neutral, in that metaphor, would be something like Ravenclaw.


DirkBabypunch

Not necessarily an intelligence thing. Cthulu would be unaligned, because what Cthulu does is whatever Cthulu does, and our moralities and it's motives are too alien for the other party to comprehend


Deferan

Practically? Not much necessarily, it’s more philisophical. A true neutral character has a concepr of morality, an unaligned animal does not. A wolf isnt good, evil, or neutral, it’s just a wolf.


mthlmw

Sometimes none, but certain creatures/beings are on a completely alien alignment (check tvtropes blue-and-orange morality) that may clash with our own in unexpected ways. Think Alice in Wonderland, some versions of the Fae, or Cthulhu.


chainer1216

Neutrals will act neutrally, unaligneds are schrodinger's alignment, you don't know how they'll act until the DM decides how an individual one does.


Osirin111

so in Uno terms; Neutral is a yellow 2 Unaligned is a Wildcard


Seeing-this-stuff

it would mean that they have no predilection towards a particular alignment. You are as likely to encounter an evil one as a good one and as a neutral one.


discourse_is_dead

So a true neutral monster/npc/pc may stay out of a fight, then later join the losing side to even things out, and might even switch sides after joining in, or might leave the fight once they feel its an even match again. Where as an unaligned creature may stay out of a fight, or if the combatants are something it will eat, may pick on the weakest combatant at some point, or drag them off to eat them. Ie it didn't care what was fair or who won, it just wanted to survive and possible eat. Where as "the great referee" didn't care who won, as long as the fight was fair.


IzzetTime

Huh? No sensible creature would behave like that. A neutral creature would maybe fight or maybe not depending on personal reasons, but not likely for strong moral convictions. A LG Paladin may fight a zombie horde for the good of the land. A NE Rogue would fight them because there’s money/power in being the one to end the zombie menace. A N Bard would fight it because they have connections that are threatened by them, like family or property. Maybe they’d fight to help their teammates but it’s more because they care about them as people. Neutral hasn’t been concerned with “cosmic balance” for years. “We just stopped this zombie horde, better burn down the orphanage on the way out of town to keep things balanced!” is a sentiment that doesn’t have a place on the alignment chart unless it’s CN or CE. Meanwhile an unaligned creature would fight for self preservation or for food, like an animal.


discourse_is_dead

D&D 2nd Edition druids were supposed to be incredibly neutral, and act like that. It would make for a crappy party companion, but it was a thing for a while. If your allegiance was to the sense of fairness, or to balance, a person might just act like that. I certainly couldn't behave that way, but I understand the concept even if it does seem a bit silly.


IzzetTime

Oh the concept is certainly understandable, it’s just that anything that isn’t some Fey creature with a compulsive sympathy with underdogs that tried pulling this kinda thing would be enough to break verisimilitude for me to be honest. It would have to be a very low stakes fight, for someone humanoid to act that way.


discourse_is_dead

Ya I agree. its a very special case way to RP it. Cultists, Fey, followers of a warped deity .. :)


Boxer_puppies

Sigma vs alpha


Any-Amphibian-1783

Unaligned means they never even get the choice to pick alignment usually because they're too stupid to understand morality while neutral know what morality is or atleast has the ability to learn but instead has willingly decided not to conform under one specific banner of good or evil.


Luckily_Cursed

Being neutral means not taking sides. Unaligned means being hungry (also colloquially known as "Thinkin' Arby's" or trying to "Have it their way")


CertainlyNotWorking

This is my favorite explanation so far, as it neatly folds with eldritch monstrosities being unaligned.


PM-Me-Your-TitsPlz

The more important question is which celebrities or pop culture characters match up with it so we can argue about alignment chart shitposts.


Jechtael

Batman is True Neutral. He follows his personal tenets except when he doesn't. He works outside of the law but not against it. He commits arguably evil acts for definitely good reasons. (Please don't argue this part with me. I will not defend it. It's only setup for the rest of the comment.) Langford is Neutral Evil. He just wants what he thinks he deserves, and what he thinks he deserves is first a lab with freedom from ethical restrictions and later an utterly absurd revenge. Man-Bat is Unaligned. All he knows is eat mosquito, hate Batman, and echolocate.


metallicrooster

> and echolocate. I initially read this as “eat chocolate” and almost had a deep resonance with Man-Bat


ejdj1011

For the programmers out there: It's the same as the difference between something being 0 and something not being a number.


After-Ad2018

Unaligned usually applies to things with animal intelligence, and that probably don't have a concept of morals or ethics. TN understands the concept but effectively chooses not to choose.


protection7766

Alignments are cosmic forces, hence gods having them in their domains, thus being neutral IS being aligned with something.


TauInMelee

Just spitballing on logic, but unaligned implies a lack of decision whereas neutral seems more of a choice. An unaligned creature doesn't have a side, either because it can't, because it has no knowledge of the sides, or because it is weighing its options. Neutral then would be a creature aware of the sides but choosing not to take one.


Fish_823543

Unaligned is basically an animal that doesn’t fall on an alignment because they don’t act according to morals, they’re just hunting and surviving. Neutral recognizes morality but acts neutrally.


PachoTidder

Neutral: I do not care about laws but I wouldn't break them as a first response Unaligned: the fuck is a law?


VercarR

*Chaotic unaligned*


TentativeCue

Unaligned creatures aren’t smart enough to comprehend morality. Neutral creatures have a concept of morality but choose not to pick sides


RX-HER0

Unaligned simply do not get to govern how they act morally, are aren’t intelligent enough too. Neutral is a conscious choice.


anti-peta-man

Aligned characters see things like an octagon, each one a different alignment. True Neutral picks the center space Unaligned doesn’t see the octagon


Hagisman

Unaligned is more about survival imo. A neutral person will care about remaining open to both sides. Or being Lawful or Chaotic regardless of the effect. Unaligned; don’t give me that for the greater good or evil BS. You are getting in my grill.


RileyKohaku

Unaligned creatures are amoral. Morals are irrelevant


FetusGoesYeetus

If a war happened a neutral creature would not pick a side and stay uninvolved but an unalligned creature would fuck up both sides equally holding no biases.


temptatiousigni

The difference is, that unaligned is a lack of understanding of morality, and applies to creatures below human intelligence. Neutral is when someone understands morality, and remains indifferent, or acts in a way that balances out.


HeeHawJew

I always saw it as unaligned creatures don’t have the intellectual capacity to be aligned.


LocalMan97

Don’t know the RAW, but from a personal point of view, I would imagine the difference boils down to a level of sentience. Are you a sentient creature looking out just for yourself without any malice towards others? Neutral. Are you non-sentient? Unaligned.


Jake4XIII

Unaligned cannot recognize good or evil. Unaligned recognizes them and walks the path between them. You'd never ask what the morality of a wolf eating a deer is would you?


Korekiyon

Neutral sees both sides and could potentially lean either way, unaligned either doesn't know or couldn't care any less


[deleted]

Sentience perhaps?


girl_with_knives

Unaligned monsters are made by people who don't use the alignment system


mrdeadsniper

Depends on if the bear is Swiss or not.


american-titan

Afaik, unaligned monsters are not capable of the higher reason involved in good and evil. A Gelatinous Cube does not know what evil is. A Cloud Giant does.


JulienBrightside

A neutral monster can derive its choices from a philosophy. An unaligned monster does its actions from instinct.


Psychomaniac14

unaligned = not smart enough to know what alignment is


Bundle_of_Organs

An unaligned monster doesnt usually have the intelligence to be able to comprehend good and evil. A neutral creature chooses not to acknowledge good and evil.


Mysterious_Tip8473

My DM tells me ‘unaligned’ are creatures who don’t/can’t conceive of morality. I.E animals.


ZipperZapZap

I always thought it was something like "Neutral has a concept of good Vs. bad but doesn't specifically care much, unaligned doesn't *have* the concept in the first place"


Veotr

Neutral is a term used to describe the alignment. An unaligned creature has no alignment and you can use any for them. For example as I understand it an Unaligned creature could be used as any alignment? Where as a neutral creature is a creature who has the neutral alignment.


JimmiRustle

A cow is unaligned because it has no concept of morality. It simply acts and only the rest of us are capable of evaluating the consequences in a moral context. But the cow itself is neither good, evil or neutral.


ProtestantLarry

Alignment comes with intelligence, which gives a creature a moral compass


JuanDunbar

Neutral have the capacity to consider moral actions but stay central, unaligned run on pure instinct. Next.


Koden48273

"Unaligned" Means the creature has no conception of good and evil or law and order; basically anything to do with the alignment. This is usually a creature with low intelligence like a beast. "Neutral" Means that the creature knows about these concepts, but prefers to steer away from moral questions and doesn't like to take sides, they just do what they think is best for a situation. An example of this would be a commoner.


colemanjanuary

Unaligned could potentially shift alignment but a neutral is already placed on Mordenkainen's Tic-Tac-Toe Board of Eternal Arguments?


Saluting_Bear

Unaligned are purely reactive, don't have thought leading to actions Neutral are not morally aligned, good and evil don't matter, but the actions and reactions can and certainly will have plans and logic behind them


Metalona

Unaligned are like blank slates, can be swayed either way. Neutral is all about keeping things even in general, without one alignment exceeding their bounds of neutral actions toward the other


ruu-ruu

I'm not really knowledgeable of this but unaligned sounds like unknown and neutral is just neutral


Liesmith424

The same difference between "vanilla" and "flavorless".


MayhemSays

The commitment.


Warzan86

I guess it's like this. Neutral: Helps either side if beneficial to itself Unaligned: Tear everything apart because the monster has nothing and no one to give a shit about


GeekyLadyV

I had always aassumed tha unaligned monsters were those too inintelligent or too alien to have a moral philosophy as mortals would understand it. Like it just wants to eat you becautse youre in its lair and it eats things that are in its lair - just a robot made of meat, like a dumb animal. Or else its literally cthulhu or something and its goals are beyond your understanding and it gives no more consideration to their effect on mortals than we would to the effect of our passage on the ants we stepped on.


QuandrixFractal

Unaligned is you actively do not care. You're an animal, you worry about survival and little else. Neutral is different, it takes many flavors. I'm nihilistically neutral. I do care, but I also realize I have no power in our world. I believe pretty much everyone out there is out for their own bullshit, and I'm tired of it, so I've stopped being idealistic, and taking sides. Why? It doesn't fucking matter. I'll do what I can not to make shit worse, but there is no way any of us can make it better.


Cthulhuyyy

A unaligned monster can't tell the difference between the two A neutral one can but doesn't care


Buroda

True neutral = consciously not aligned with good, evil, chaos, or law Unaligned = too simple-minded to have a concept of morality.


Myrkul999

A cat is unaligned. When it stretches out on the mantle and pushes grandma's urn onto the ground, there's no intent to be evil, just as when it jumps into your lap and purrs, there's no intention to be good. Mordenkainen is Neutral. He actively seeks to maintain the Balance. So one day, he is destroying a vampire dark lord, and the next, he's helping out an archduke of hell. One day wiping out a Slaad invasion, the next, defending Limbo from marching Modrons. It's all about careful application of force to keep the scales from tipping one way or the other.


VolthoomisComing

Eh, cats are smart enough to be neutral


Myrkul999

Heh. Probably. At least in real life. In game, their Int is 3 (animal), so they're unaligned.


Jackal_Gundam

Mannerisms


Lord_Highrend

I played it as neutral creatures either act regardless of perceived morales/or acknowledge right and wrong, and strive for balance and equilibrium. In turn, unaligned creatures are blank mirrors, reflectiing the world in their immediate surroundings, if they are interacting with good alignments, they mirror that, and if they suddenly found themselves surrounded by evil alignment, they would quickly change


FourEyedDweeb

In behavior? Not very big. In mind set for the dm? Possibly huge. Neutral implies that the entity does not choose harming over helping or vise versa. It simply acts in a way that benifits itself. Unaliged is reserved for creatures that do not act of their own accord. Usually Unaliged creatures are following orders. They have no alignment because they do not make desisons but follow commands to the best of their abilities


TheDaemonic451

Intelligence


tjake123

neutral acknowledges that there is a good and, evil unaligned does not recognize the difference between good and evil.


FM_lomozzz

Neutral get afterlife while unaligned don't right?


srpa0142

The point of an unaligned creature is that they are *not* capable of alignment. It's strictly reserved for beasts, and mindless undead/constructs. Neutral alignment is largely a reactive one. You take most decisions or actions based on case by case whether conscious of it or not. It can be about trying to main some sort of balance in all things, but more often it's just going with what makes sense at the time. If you're the sort to qualify nearly every answer with "It depends..." when asked a morals question or what one should do, you're more than likely True Neutral. Frankly I'd wager the majority of people are True Neutral and *definitely* the majority of people who claim to dislike the alignment system are True Neutral. Where the cognitive disconnect comes in is whether they'll admit to it publically or not; the social contract of most modern societies like to romanticize the idea of being good as virtuous, and people don't generally like to be seem as admitting fault, and this falsely equate being neutral as a fault.


Delazyhumanbeing

To me, being a unaligned creature dosent understand the concept of evil/good, chaos/lawful, but a neutral one understands those concepts and chooses to be true neutral. But what the fuck do I Know?


GoobMcGee

I think so. The difference is the ability to self-reflect. Wolves don't fail a hunt and think "maybe I'm not good at hunting" and they certainly don't think "is it wrong to leave that animal wounded now that I have this one dead?". Those that can consider their morality can have a morality.


Forgemanster183260

A creature that is Unaligned means that they do not have the intelligence to form comprehensive thoughts besides eating, sleeping, and fucking. Examples include most non-magical wildlife like birds, wolves, and spiders. True Neutral just means that you're able to see the sides of any conflict because you possess a higher intelligence. Any creature that has the Unaligned tag, is something that does not have autonomy, or the ability to develop complex thoughts and ideas.


pyzk

"Slay this unaligned ant!"


trubocharg

My base assumption is that “Unaligned” is just code for “Chaotic Hungry”


Gravelroad__

Unaligned = nature Neutral = nurture


alpaca1yps

The unaligned character will do whatever. The neutral character has an internal set of rules that dictate how they act, lawful neutral had the strictest rules, and chaotic neutral has *(Optional)* scribbled hastily next to their set of rules.


Remote_Romance

Neutral: Does what it thinks is best at the time Unaligned: Doesn't "think"


snakebite262

Unaligned don't care, or more accurately do not have the ability to understand, alignment. Good/Evil. Lawful/Chaotic. They have no ability to comprehend, and as such are not able to be held accountable for their actions. An neutral alignment chooses to remain neutral. They either act on both sides, or actively choose to remain a non-combatant for the cosmic balance. In the end, it goes down to the idea of Free Will and Sentience.


Aarakocra

Unaligned is something which doesn’t have the capacity for choosing an alignment. A gelatinous cube doesn’t think, and so it can’t choose to do evil, or good, or.. anything really. It’s like the idea of “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners,” a dog’s behavior is the accumulated habits of its life with no capacity for moral reasoning, and so unaligned. Neutral is a choice (even for outsiders, although that gets into awkwardness where an outsider who changes their alignment becomes something different). That being said, I can’t remember which, but some editions had a change where they said unaligned was another form of neutral and don’t bother with distinguishing.


ComicBookFanatic97

Unaligned creatures have no concept of morality. Neutral monsters come in two flavors: “keeping the balance” and “too apathetic to even commit to apathy”.


CobaltCam

Monster alignment is meant to be the typical alignment for that species, not set in stone. So I always read unaligned as the species is varied enough to not have a typical alignment. That or they don't have the presence of mind to have an alignment. Neutral isn't the absence of alignment.


Dorca_the_dummy

Neutral means it gives no fucks and has an afterlife Unaligned means it's whatever and has no afterlife Because DnD is stupid


humblepie8

Unaligned are convertible/trainable. Neutral are unchangeable.


A_Salty_Cellist

Neutral is a choice, unaligned just means they don't really have the awareness to make moral decisions. Like the difference between a neutral ranger and her wolf companion.


AngryRedGummyBear

Is it enough difference to make a difference? You be the judge.


masterfish95

Unaligned monsters don’t understand that the choice exists. Neutral monsters have chosen to not care


chickenman14359

unaligned acts as instincts, doesn't make choice to be neutral. that sums it up I think.


_Blood_Manos_

Centrist vs radical centrist


Tortferngatr

Neutral is "has no specific tendency towards evil, good, lawful, or chaotic actions, or actively seeks a balance of opposite-aligned actions, but is capable of comprehending morality and their relation to society." A mercenary that will fight for good and bad causes alike but also doesn't actively desire to hurt others or go out of their way to help them is neutral. Unaligned is "can't comprehend morality and social relations," usually because it's a creature without the faculties to do so. Bears are unaligned.


Shawn-Adventurer

Neutral means it's got the mental capacity to be aware of the concept of good, evil, law, and chaos though chooses not to bother with it. While unaligned means it's just a base animal that just follows basic instincts. In short, Neutral chooses and Unaligned doesn't.


Skinkypoo

Neutral is you do more what seems best at the time. unaligned is you don’t care about good or evil, law or chaos, you do everything purely for survival or what’s in you’re nature. That’s my understanding


2017hayden

Unaligned I believe implies the creature lacks the ability to have an alignment. Either because they lack the intelligence necessary or something else. Where’s a neutral aligned creature is no different from a neutral aligned character. They look out for themselves they see the available choices and they choose to be on their side.


annoyedapple921

Think of alignment like a number line where positive is good, negative is evil. Neutral is 0. Unaligned is stepping off of the line entirely. This applies to things that have no concept of morality, such as rocks, slimes, or other things without high enough intelligence to understand. Alternatively, it also applies to some divine or eldritch creatures. They are clearly intelligent, but their actions and motives are so beyond our level of comprehension that we cannot hope to assign a morality to them. Azathoth from the Lovecraft mythos is a good example of the latter. It dreams the universe into reality, but it has no moral reason to do so as we know it. It feels no obligation to create or destroy, to cause or recieve suffering or joy, it simply dreams, therefor it is unaligned.


nixylplixie

Unaligned means it will act solely on instinct. Neutral means it has ideals but only aligns with itself.


hunglerre

unaligned is too dumb to be moral. neutral is intentionally balancing shit


HL00S

Unaligned: not intelligent enough to give a crap. Neutral: intelligent enough to not give a crap.


TheGreyMage

A Neutral Creature has made a conscious choice not to take sides in the physical & metaphysical inter dimensional war being fought across the planes by the various Good, Evil, Ordered & Chaotic Creatures of those planes to win the favour of gods.


Attaxalotl

Neutral monsters recognize sides and choose neither Unaligned monsters cannot comprehend sides


burrofgurr

Neutral is not participating in something like a war Unaligned is not caring and if either side came up to you, you would fight them


dnd5eveteran

Neutral is essentially "I do not care about the forces of light and dark, good and bad, and the fundamental struggle that is forever existent" Unaligned is basically animalistic. Anything that has some sort of sentience is likely gonna be aligned. That being said, the line blurs with magical or artificial. Anything of that nature is gonna have an innate alignment. For example, zombies aren't exactly sentient, but the magic that raised them has imbued them with this inmate desire to kill, to snuff out life. Conclusion: any sentient, not necessarily intelligent (distinction between like goblins and humans) species can likely change their alignment because they understand. Magically or artificially created creatures have their innate alignment that cannot change. Unaligned creatures have no sentience, they are bestial. (Usually. Can't think of any exceptions but there's gotta be)


Billybob267

The difference, I think, is that Nuetral is a conscious choice, whereas unaligned is when you aren't smart enough for moral decisions based off morals


jibblitzz

Unaligned hasn't picked a side yet, neutral wont pick a side?


Souperplex

Rush explained Neutral best: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice". Unaligned lacks the mental capacity or free will to make moral decisions.


SoulCrystal

I think a lot of unaligned creatures are beasts are they not? Could it be related to sentience?


Lord-Pepper

Unaligned means you can make em work however u want in your world, Neutral is they think for themselves, in fact all neutral is think for yourself in some way


sixteen_names

neutral means having aspects of all alignments, and unaligned simply means it varies from individual to individual and there are no well defined trends


RebindE

Unaligned means something like a horse with no ethical framework. Neutral means they live a life of balance, avoiding extremes.


HelenaLovegood77

The comments section is a saviour because I genuinely didn't know 😂


KeishinB237

I imagine it would be like this. An unaligned monster would just do as monsters do, a wild beast in a sense with no higher thought governing its actions outside of instinct and nature. A neutral monster would have an intelligence of some description to allow it to make a choice based on circumstances. Like say a dragon flying around not slaughtering an entire heard so it has a food option for later. That's my take on it at least.


DankAdolfHitler

Well most of the unaligned monsters are other worldly like the great old ones so my guess is the unaligned is suppose to be that their morality or thought process is beyond our comprehension


[deleted]

I seeNeutral as True Neutral, but idk.


liladversith

I think this is based around the inherent intelligence of the creature


Rocketboy1313

Stop using alignment. It is stupid. It is shallow by the standards of morality you might teach a 10-year old.


Random_Fudgery

It’s probably intelligence, right? A wild beast doesn’t care about good or evil, and just tried to survive. But an intelligent creature can choose to be neutral, evil, or whatever else


dalexchase

Neutral does not take a side for good nor evil, law or chaos. Unaligned does not or has not come to the understanding of law, chaos, good or evil. Wolves are Unaligned because they do not comprehend these ideas. Babies, have yet to learn of these ideas. Most nonsentient races should be Unaligned or "naturally neutral" by my understanding.


echtellion

I think those are leftovers from 3.5/Pathfinder where there were a lot more alignment-tied abilities, spell and even damage types/resistances.


Ame_Loch

It comes down to understanding the nature of alignment I think. A dog is unaligned, the concept of morals does not apply to the dog. For it is a dog and shall do what a dog does. A dragon on the other hand has an alignment. It makes conscious decisions based on its moral standards. It’s primarily an animalistic trait I believe. The dog is just an animal, but the dragon is intelligent and can understand right and wrong on a complex level.


SomeDumbassLady

And in conclusion: Allignments are dumb.


Wattup1

Neutral has the capacity to choose a side and instead sides with themselves, an unaligned monster usually doesn’t have the thought capacity for morality. If anyone has contradicting examples send em my way :)


Downtown-Command-295

Alignment is stupid, so the question is moot. Don't use it.